December 5th, 2012, Dr Gary Nine submitted his resignation as the Florence Unified School District Superintendent.
His resignation will go into effect at the end of his contract year.
Below you will find the letter written by Dr Gary Nine, that was addressed to the FUSD School Board.
Please accept this letter as my resignation to resign my position as Superintendent at the end of this contract year.
Since publication of A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform in 1983, public education has been the universal whipping boy for a multitude of society’s ills. Certainly, much of that criticism was earned and while reform has been a constant for the past 29 years, much is yet to be accomplished.
Over a year ago, the Arizona Republic published an expose on Student Tuition Organizations. Originally, the purpose of STOs was to provide money for tuition to private schools to poor and under-served students though tax deductible donations. The STOs were allowed to keep 10% of the money for their services. The expose illustrated that in many cases, a well-to-do parent of one private schooled child would give their money in the name of a friend whose child attended a private school. In turn, that parent would donate in favor of his friend’s child. Also, some STOs just allowed people to donate in favor of a designated child.
There is a great need, really a nation-saving need, to reestablish a strong, deep, well-educated middle class. To accomplish that, as many, many have written, we need for virtually all our kids to leave school confident, technologically proficient, able to think critically, analyze, and problem solve, respect others differences, possessing the traits of initiative, reliability, citizenship, and the ability to be socially comfortable with others. Let’s call that Priority One.
One of my grandma’s favorite statements was “If you always tell the truth, you never have to remember what you said.” Admittedly, I wasn’t a quick learner but after a number of “switchings” with a willow branch, I began to see the light.
Arizona is a mess. You know it. I know it. Our friends and neighbors know it. Polls say so. We’re headed in the wrong direction. We are much like America on the whole, only worse.
We have choices in life. This letter asks you to make one.
I’m writing to all Arizonans because I think it is time we choose. Not Obama and not Romney, but Arizona and Arizona’s children.
We often hear and read that people are very resistant to change. Most certainly that is true. Oh, there are always a few folks who love to be on the bleeding edge and are happy to adopt new practices, but that sure isn’t the norm.
I’m a bit older than most who are reading this column, but I still think young – or I think I do. I get up at 4:30 or 5:00, jump in the shower, and get out loaded for bear and feeling great; then I look in the mirror and think, “Wow. Who is that old sucker looking back at me?”